Raising a child ‘costs same as the average family home’

Off their blocks? Parents spend most in the early years, shelling out on about �64k a year. Picture: PA
Off their blocks? Parents spend most in the early years, shelling out on about �64k a year. Picture: PA
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Raising a child to the age of 21 in Scotland costs more than the average semi-detached house, a report has found.

In Scotland, the typical cost of raising a child is £230,988, according to calculations for insurer LV=, while across the UK, the figure is slightly higher, at £231,843.

Its report pointed to figures from Halifax, which show the average price of a semi-detached house in the UK is just £219,255.

The cost of raising a child varies throughout the UK, from £253,638 in London to a low of £214,559 in Yorkshire and the Humber.

Parents with children in private education can expect to pay much more.

The report, compiled by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) for LV=, found that sending a child to private school would add, on average, £141,863 for a child attending day school, or £260,927 for boarding school.

Generally, the most expensive years for raising a child were between the ages of one and four, with childcare costs placing a particular strain on budgets. Parents typically spend £63,224 during these years.

The average annual cost of raising a child now takes up more than a third of the average UK household’s net income and six in ten parents admit they are struggling to manage their outgoings.

The first year of a child’s life is also a financial pinch point, with parents typically spending £11,498 when many will have seen a cut in their income due to taking leave from work to care for their baby.

Myles Rix, managing director of protection at LV=, said: “The cost of raising a child is at an all-time high and, with the price-tag of childcare continuing to rise, family incomes are being stretched even further.”

Parents spend more than £70,000 on childcare and babysitting when raising their child, amounting to nearly a third of the total cost of raising them to the age of 21. The cost of babysitting and childcare has risen by almost 80 per cent in the past 13 years, the report found, while costs associated with going to school such as books, uniform, lunches, trips and equipment as well as university costs, have seen the biggest rise in price, increasing by 128 per cent since 2003 to an average of £74,000.

A further £19,000 is spent by parents on feeding their child, £10,000 is spent on clothing and £4,600 is shelled out as pocket money.

The bill for entertaining a child is also high, with £16,000 spent on holidays, £9,000 on hobbies and toys and £7,000 on leisure and recreation. The overall cost has increased from £229,251 last year, the report found.

Separate LV= research found that cash-strapped parents are forced to turn to friends and family for help in looking after their children. Around six in ten parents ask their friends and family to help out with babysitting costs, but nearly half say people are less available to pitch in than in previous years.

Meanwhile, one in seven parents say they have to pay for a babysitter more than once a week, rising to half of those in London.